why do directors allow non-Jamaicans to play Jamaican roles in movies?

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written by Gods Child on 2006-Jun-16.

Maybe there are bad Russan accents too but I don't know because I'm not Russian. In fact, anyone else notice any BAD foreign accents? All the movies with baaaad Jamaican accents i.e. How Stella Got Her Groove Back

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  1. I don't know I think the stereotypical "jamaican" accent was really created so that foreigners could understand what we are saying. And so we don't mind the bad accent too much.
    It seems that at times we don't know how we soon either. I'll upload a mp3.

    by owen 2006-Jun-16 

  2. I have no idea! I guess they don't believe we have good actors, so they prefer the crappy fake accents.

    by Stunner 2006-Jun-17 

  3. There was a tv show in the nineties "Going to Extremes" I think, that was filmed on location in Jamaica, with Jamaican actors and extras. Sometimes the American characters couldn't understand. But sometimes I myself barely understood. But I still think that Jamaicans should be played by Jamaicans. Once I watched a British film and they had this Ja-Fake-an in it and all he did was say pussy this and pussy that. I think even a Trini would have been offended.

    by Gods Child 2006-Jun-17 

  4. I can't stand those movies with the fake accents. I feel insulted as a Jamaican cus nobody says "Yah Mon", but I understand in some sense. They really don't understand a real Jamaican. I've seen movies with real Jamaicans and they actually have English subtitles for the translation.

    by Breakspeare 2006-Jul-25 

  5. LOL...To be honest....we do say 'Yeah Man' Just not pronounced as 'Mon' They just need to be corrected on that. "Yeah man...Fi real" :) lol

    by QueenC 2008-Aug-13 

  6. Many Jamaicans don't "mind" the caricaturing of our language because most of us don't think it is a language at all -- its 'patois', not quite 'standard english', and mostly for the uneducated who 'can't speak properly.' This sense of Jamaican creole as "not that important" and can be mastered through ridiculous phrasebooks or sleeping with a Jamaican [man, never woman it seems]is constantly perpetuated by Jamaicans themselves. Since we don't see it as a language with its own logic, we readily concede to the idea that we need to be more easily "understood" by Americans or whoever. That's a great example of how people consent to and internalize their own oppressive conditions and the sense of inferiority that we "big up" all the time.

    When people claim that they don't understand a language that is related to theirs, that's really more about one's social prejudice than anything else -- if you listen and pay attention long and hard enough -- which you are supposed to do with everybody - you will get the point and be able to engage in conversation. Jamaican tourist workers do this all the time; that tells you a lot right there.

    I've definitely heard crappy fake accents of other languages, but such caricatures do not appear in nearly the same volume or in the number of mainstream films that are taken to represent some authentic aspect of that group's experience.

    Unfortunately, Hollywood types may have decided it was ok to bastardize Jamaican creole and cadences because of longheld racist ideas,we have also rubber stamped those attitudes, because we think that "they" are doing us a favor by making movies "about" us.

    Never mind that the majority of those films create and perpetuate dangerous stereotypes, which we have even started to believe and use to make $$$ That's the really sick part of all of this.

    by gelede 2006-Jul-29 

  7. Well said sister...well said. I am dieing for the day when I see an authentic Jamaican play a Jamaican role and not for some gimmick...but taken seriously just like anybody else in that film. Personally...I hope it's me. Not just as a Jamaican...But as a Jamaican woman 100%:)

    by QueenC 2008-Aug-13 

  8. Subtitles on Jamaican films are often "transliterations" rather than "translations" ie. word for word equivalents, rather than capture the meaning and mood of what is being said. You can tell it's a translit. when the "english version" makes no sense. Jamaicans do this translit. thing a lot -- especially on the websites. It's time we accepted that what we speak is a language and not some bastardized version of something else.

    The work that Ms. Lou began is really not done, is it?

    by gelede 2006-Jul-29 

  9. No...Obviously not. I personally love Patois. Even though my friends tend to say that I hardly ever speak it....I try to whenever I need to make a point clear or for emphasis. Some things just can't be expressed in English like it would in Patois and vice versa. I have friends from Europe, who seriously give me a new sense of pride whenever I see their genuine interest to learn the language. To know that they think it's 'kool' lol. I hope someday to be apart of re-introducing it to the world. 100 percent...

    by QueenC 2008-Aug-13 

  10. the fake accent annoys me, but i can live with it, cause i mean, i'm a a teen and i don't know anything about america so i guess when some actor pretends to talk jamaican it's just to show how the accent sounds to them or whatever, though i really would love to see a jamaican acting jamaican. jus saying

    by Crazenar 2008-Oct-05